About 65 million years ago (some considerable time before even I was born) the dinosaurs began to die off. The reason, scientists have been saying for years, is that they failed to adapt to the changing climate of the planet, no matter how slowly it was changing.

There was however one species of dinosaur that not only adapted, but has thrived to this very day – crocodiles. Right across northern Australia today, the safest place to swim has tiles on the floor.

It’s the same in business. Those whose ‘change radar’ is alert, ever on the lookout for even the smallest alterations in the environment – market forces, competition, technology, fickle consumer preferences, fashion and a dozen other variables – are the ones who become crocodiles.

As a real-life example, there’s a small town in country-town-Australia where I know of two salon owners who have been in competition for years.

One – who by no small coincidence happens to have been a student of mine and member of Worldwide Salon Marketing for years – has built a successful, constantly-growing business. She has enthusiastically embraced advances in technology, the ups and downs of the economy, her clients’ ever-changing fashions and preferences, while at the same time being absolutely ruthless when the need arises to dump what (or who) isn’t working.

The other – who has been in business in the town for considerably longer – is constantly following and attempting to copy the newer rival, while refusing to adapt and change almost anything. This salon owner once came to me for help, which I freely gave. She said she wanted to have a website for her salon “because all my competitors have one.”

I told her she had two choices – pay someone (like WSM – we’ve built hundreds of them) or educate herself on how to build one herself. That was 8 years ago. She still doesn’t have a website.

My own business is no different. When I founded WSM in a spare room in my house 13 years ago, business technology was in its infancy. Smartphones? Weren’t even invented. Websites? Only a few salons even had one. Facebook was a glint in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. 

Back then, the primary marketing tools available to salon owners were mailbox flyers, radio, newspaper and magazine advertising, the Yellow Pages, direct mail, and the telephone.

The Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit was then THE industry-standard how-to manual for salon owners who wanted proven, done-for-you templates and tools to market their businesses in the primary forms of media available to them at the time.

(Of course, those forms of media still exist today, and mostly work even better than they did a decade ago, simply because so few people are using them in the mistaken belief that “they’re too expensive and they don’t work any more.” Meh.)

But…with the rapid development of new forms of media, we had to change, adapt, re-organise and develop skills – not only for our own marketing, but also so we could provide the services that our market – primarily small businesses in the salon & spa industry – so clearly needed and wanted.

Ten years ago, we sold the Toolkit and pretty much that was it. (And millions of dollars worth of Toolkits were sold around the world.)

Today, we still sell the core module of the Toolkit, called Simple Salon Marketing, in both downloadable and hard copy format. (You can order it here.) But it’s now just a part of a hugely-diverse range of products and services we provide for our Members, including

  • Website design and construction – we’ve built and continue to build hundreds of them, for salons all over the world.
  • Website hosting, maintenance and security.
  • Search Engine Optimization – the tedious, manual and labour-intensive process of putting our members’ businesses on the first page of search listings.
  • Local search (Google Business Listings) optimization (Free video how-to here.)
  • Social media services, like Facebook advertising campaigns, and Instagram account boosting (so salons get more followers.)
  • A massive, searchable online database of templates, how-to videos, marketing strategies, downloadable social media graphics and proven promotions (It’s called the Client Attraction System and you can get 24/7 password access here, 50% off for the first month, no contracts.)
  • A simple 8-week ‘how-to’ online video course complete with downloadable templates relevant to each lesson (it’s called the Lite course, it’s just $69 for the whole 8 weeks and you can sign up here.

Not to mention a raft of new lead generation tools we’ve had to employ to bring in a steady stream of prospective members – more than 400 salon & spa owners around the world ‘opt-in’ every month to get their hands on one or more of the following:

And that’s just a partial list of the improvements, refinements and additional services we’ve had to make to Worldwide Salon Marketing to keep the business relevant in the second decade of the 21st century.

If we’d simply buried our heads in the sand and stubbornly stuck to trying to sell the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit – as relevant as it was and still is – we would have been overtaken by events, and died a slow, painful death.

The process of selling hasn’t changed in a hundred years. And while humans walk upright, it will never change. But the media has changed, will always change, as will technology. If you don’t adapt, don’t embrace the changes but fight them every step of the way, you too – and your business with it – will go the way of the dinosaurs.